Now in Theaters:


Barbie (**) A triumph of production design and featuring some lively performances, filmmaker Greta Gerwig’s attempt to bring the renowned doll to the big screen (co-written with her off screen romantic partner, Noah Baumbach) starts out promisingly well with a wonderful nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It then coasts along fairly well enough for about twenty minutes as the viewer gets familiarized with the world in which Barbie (Margot Robbie, perfectly cast) and her squeeze, Ken (Ryan Gosling) reside. At this point Barbie suffers an existential crisis, decides to enter the real world and the film gets worse as it goes along, eventually taking a real nosedive as it attempts to wrap up the Ken subplot in the most atrocious and interminable way imaginable involving the worst use of song and dance I’ve seen in many a moon (I nearly walked out at this point).

A Barbie movie with a subtext dealing with female empowerment is a great idea. Unfortunately, under the heavy-handed direction of Gerwig, the film takes on the feel of a sermon towards the end that just didn’t work for me. There are things to admire here but just not enough for a film that’s been as endlessly ballyhooed as this one.

 New to Disc:

Bayview Entertainment:

Robot Monster (1953) Long considered one of the worst films of all time, director Phil Tucker’s tale of doomsday survivors attempting to outwith an alien menace, makes its way to Blu Ray in a lovingly restored edition that retains the film’s original 3D transfer. Also included are nearly two hours of bonus material, some of which is also in 3D.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) The John Hughes classic makes the transition to the 4K UHD format in a new edition that brings back the long unavailable audio commentary by Hughes along with several featurettes from more recent editions.

Warner Brothers:

Rio Bravo (1959) John Wayne, Dean Martin, Rick Nelson and Walter Brennan attempt to halt a prisoner’s escape in this western classic that inspired such filmmakers as John Carpenter and now makes its way to disc in a new 4K UHD edition. Extras include archival commentary.

East of Eden (1955) The Oscar nominated adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel about two brothers vying for the attention of their father also makes the leap to 4K UHD disc along with the previously issued bonus materials from earlier Blu Ray and DVD editions.

Scream/Shout Factory:

Nightbreed (1990) The cult horror film from filmmaker and novelist, Clive Barker, makes the move to 4K as well. The new edition includes two cuts of the film and all of the previously issued extras.


Force of Evil (1948) John Garfield is a morally challenged lawyer tangling with racketeers in this film noir from Abraham Polonsky. Extras include a new commentary and film introduction.


Invaluable: The True Story of an Epic Artist (2014) Tom Sullivan, the Michigan based makeup artist behind the horror classic, The Evil Dead, is the subject of this documentary portrait from filmmaker Ryan Meade. Nearly four hours of bonus features are included that include unedited interviews and a bonus documentary.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 (2023) The latest entry in the Guardians saga, and presumably last, is now available in both Blu Ray and 4K disc editions. There are a few featurettes included as well.